So I will be honest. I have been stuck. 2 months long stuck. Like I said in my Joy post, I have been going through my Fruits-of-the-Spirit voyage and Peace had me lost in the ocean. I knew many things of peace – to trust, to rest, to be content – but I could feel there was another kind that I was not grasping, something the Lord wanted me to learn. John 8:32 says, “… and you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.” And two months later, He showed me…
Peace means to be free.
Free. Free from fear. Free from guilt. Free from anxiety. Free from sadness. I could never fully grasp peace because I wasn’t allowing myself to be free from things that took it from me. It blows me away that once my eyes opened to this reality, Jesus would continue to teach me about this freedom in so many different ways. In life we have situations and conflicts arise that makes us always battle peace. We have anxiety over our career path. We have loneliness in our lack of relationships. We have sadness with death. We have guilt over something we did or didn’t do. It seems as if the battle of peace is always waging war within ourselves.
Galatians 5:1 says, “For freedom Christ has set us free; stand firm therefore, and do not submit again to a yoke of slavery.”
Christ has set us free. We do not have to choose anxiety, loneliness, fear or any of these things that shackle us to Satan’s door. We are free in Christ.
You see, I have known this for a while, but I would still adhere myself to a set of rules that I thought brought glory to the Lord. I thought, if I am doing this right – then Jesus knows that I want to follow Him. Yes we are to obey the teachings of Jesus, but lately I have seen there is so much freedom in walking with the Spirit. This week, church posed this question – are we trying to obey rules or are we pursuing a real relationship with God? Christ did not come to give us a rule book, He came to set us free (To him who has loved us and freed us from our sins by His blood. – Revelation 1:5) He has freed us. He came so he could know us and we know him in return. I don’t want to turn my relationship with Jesus into a puzzle difficult to solve – I want to live in freedom and pursue a relationship with Him intimately.
However, I am a sinner. I have to always be watchful. In 1 Peter, Paul warns us that we are a free people, but we are not to use it for evil – but to be servants of the Lord. THIS is what scares me. Jesus tells me to be content, but then why does my heart keep telling me to change directions? Jesus asks me to be still and wait, then why isn’t he moving or taking desires away? As a girl, I already have a tendency to over think most situations. Then add in what the Bible tells us and the decisions get even weightier. Let me be real – being a Christian isn’t easy. Is it 1000% totally worth knowing and living for the Lord? Absolutely. But it is not easy. As a believer, we truly want to be servants of the Lord, but what does that even look like as followers of Jesus?
“Now the Lord is the Spirit, and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is freedom.” – 2 Corinthains 3:17
Now don’t quote me on this. I do not always have the right answers, but this is what the Lord has been teaching me. Everyday I have to choose Jesus. I have to wake up and choose to walk with the Spirit. Choose to be at peace with where He leads. Choose to trust Him. I know this is not a walk in the park – believe me, I sometimes want the big flashing sign stating every step of life just like you do. But if that were the case, why would we even need Jesus?
Walking with the Spirit can be exhilarating.
It allows us to communicate with Jesus daily and gives us surprises in our life. I know half of my great experiences wouldn’t have happened had I known to race towards the “next big thing.” I would have never taken that job. I would have never stepped into my first relationship. And yet those experiences have taught me more about the Lord and myself than I could have ever dreamt up in any of my plans.
We can choose to be at peace in walking with the Spirit, not knowing what’s going to happen, but knowing great results will come when you follow Him.
I have been reading a book by Donald Miller that has given me a glimpse of this freedom in Christ. I want this – I want to live a great story with God – one that allows me to be at peace when I am working at home to peace when I am making an impromptu trip to visit friends. I love how Miller said it, “I have hope that God specifically wrote you and me into our story, as though He is to say ‘Enjoy your place in my story. The beauty of it means you matter, and you can create within it even as I have created you.'” The awesome thing is, as believers, we are free to create within our lives.
Romans 8 tells us, those who live according to the Spirit set their minds on things of the Spirit… which brings life and peace. For all who are led by the Spirit of God are sons of God. For we did not receive a spirit of slavery to fall into fear, but we have received the Spirit of adoption as sons… We are children of God” (my paraphrase version).
When we are walking with the Spirit, our minds should be on Him. We shouldn’t be questioning whether our decisions are with Christ. CHRIST LIVES WITHIN US. I don’t want to choose
a spirit of slavery that over analyzes and complicates life to numbers and rules, I want to choose a Spirit as a son, whom Christ has given freedom to live FULLY. When I’m old and gray, I want to know I lived a relationship of love with the Lord – not a relationship with a rulebook.
Moral of the story… Choose peace, not shackles of doubt or fear that aren’t and will never be rooted in Christ. We are to obey Christ, but more than that, we are to pursue Christ. God wants to know us. He doesn’t care if we are the best rule followers. He wants our hearts and He wants us to want His in the same way.
Christ has set us free. And I have great peace in that.